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Lake Rotomahana Trout Fishing

Lake Rotomahana is a remote and very scenic lake situated between Lake's Tarawera and Rerewhakaaitu that holds good stocks of hard fighting rainbow trout.


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Fish type Rainbow trout
Situation Lake Rotomahana is a remote lake situated on the old site of the famous Pink and White Terraces.

Access map
Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions

See the Environment Bay of Plenty website for:

- A report card on the lake water quality

- Lake use map and lake closure notices

View the MetService weather forecast for Rotorua.

F&G pamphlet Rotorua Lakes access pamphlet >>>
Description Rotomahana is a very attractive lake surrounded by bush and overlooked by the towering Mount Tarawera. Prior to the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886 this lake was famous for being the location of the two silica formations known as the Pink and White Terraces. Even today there is a lot of thermal activity to be seen around this lake. It is the remoteness and high scenic qualities as well as the excellent fishing that make this lake so attractive to the angler today.
Fish numbers and size There are good numbers of rainbow trout averaging around 1.5 kg.

To fish Lake Rotomahana it is necessary to get a Fletcher Challenge Forest permit (obtainable from Fletcher Challenge Forests Information Centre in Long Mile Drive, Rotorua). Access is via well signposted gravel roads through a pine forest that leads from the Waimungu Valley Loop Road. Although there is no boat ramp, boats can be launched from the hard lake bed surface at the end of this road.

See the Lake Rotomahana access map.

Methods Trolling, harling, jigging and using a downrigger all work well, as does fishing a fly just over the drop-off or around the weed beds along the lake's edge.
Recommended tackle For trolling use either lead core line or a downrigger. When fly fishing a weight six rod is ideal. Spin fishing from the shore is also very effective.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small weighted dark nymphs in Pheasants Tail, Hare and Copper or Halfback patterns in sizes 14 to 16.

Dry flies: During the summer try Cicada patterns, Blowflies or Wasp patterns as insects are being blown onto the lake.

Wet flies / Streamers: Use light patterns such as Mrs Simpson or Hamill's Killer  or a smelt pattern such as a Grey Ghost or Parsons' Glory.

Spinners: Toby's, Tasmanian Devils, Cobras and Tokoroa Chickens.

Tributaries There are no tributaries of note.
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Lake Rotomahana
Region Eastern region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit Trout: 8
Size limit (cm) 350 mm minimum
Regulations (2)
Applicable to All springs, streams and their tributaries which flow into or from Lake Rotomahana.
Region Eastern region regulations
Season Closed
Methods None
Bag limit 0
Size limit (cm) N/A


Julian Danby

Rotorua Trout Fishing Guide

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